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CATEGORIES (articles) > Engine, Gearbox > Ford Engines > Ford CVH Engine Overview

Ford CVH Engine Overview

The letters CVH denote a particular type of 4-cylinder internal combustion engine produced by the Ford Motor Company during the 1980s and 1990s.

The CVH (Compound Valve angle Hemispherical combustion chamber) engine was introduced by Ford in 1980 in the third generation Ford Escort. It was later used in the Ford Sierra as well as the second generation Ford Fiesta. Engines were built in the Dearborn Engine Plant for the North American market, and in Ford's then-new engine plant in Bridgend in Wales for the European market.

The engine was originally conceived in 1974 and is unique in terms of its valves mounted at a compound angle, which allows for a hemispherical combustion chamber shape without using a more expensive twin camshaft arrangement. It also featured hydraulic valve lifters, a first for a European Ford engine.

A high-performance version was devised for 1984 with electronic fuel injection and a turbocharger.

Throughout its 20-year production life, the CVH had a reputation for being harsh and noisy at high speeds, and for its lubricating oil to sludge prematurely. Timing belts frequently failed about 60,000 to 90,000 miles (100,000 to 150,000 kilometres).

The engine was produced in many different capacities from 1.1 to 1.9 litres, the smaller versions being exclusively for the European market.

Cutaway of a CVH engine


The 1.6 L CVH was used in the 1981 North American Ford Escort. Bore was 80 mm (3.149 in) and stroke was 79.5 mm (3.130 in). Output was 69 hp (52 kW) and 86 ft-lb (117 Nm).


The CVH was bumped up to 1.9 L for the 1986 model year Escort. Bore was now 82 mm (3.230 in) and stroke was up as well to 88 mm (3.465 in). This stroke length would be used in all future CVH engines, and continued into the Zeta engine which replaced it. This long stroke necessitated a raised engine block deck, a design also shared with later units. Output was 86 hp (64 kW) and 100 ft-lb (136 Nm).

Electronic fuel injection and hemispherical "hemi" combustion chambers were added for 1987's Escort GT, bumping output to 108 hp (81 kW) and 114 ft-lb (155 Nm). The plain escort got sequential EFI for 1995, but power and torque was little changed at 88 hp (66 kW) and 108 ft-lb (146 Nm) respectively.


The last CVH engine was the 2.0 L introduced in the 1998 Escort. It now used sequential port injection and produced 110 hp (82 kW) and 125 ft-lb (170 Nm). The additional displacement was achieved by boring the 1.9 engine to 84.8 mm (3.339 in). This same engine was used in the American-market Ford Focus.


1980-1986 Ford Escort Mk.3 (Europe): 1.1 L, 1.3 L, 1.6 L
1986-1990 Ford Escort Mk3.5 (Europe): 1.4 L, 1.6 L
1990-1998 Ford Escort Mk.4 (Europe): 1.4 L, 1.6 L (1.6 L replaced by Zetec in '92)
1983-1989 Ford Fiesta Mk.2: 1.3 L, 1.4 L, 1.6 L (1.4 L replaced 1.3 L for '86 model year)
1989-1992 Ford Fiesta Mk.3: 1.4 L, 1.6 L (replaced by Zetec '93 model year onward)
1988-1993 Ford Sierra: 1.6 L, 1.8 L (Replaced Pinto from '89 model year onward)
1981-1985 Ford Escort (US) 1.6 L and 1.9 L
1981-1985 Mercury Lynx (US) 1.9 L
1981-1985 Mercury LN7 (US) 1.9 L
1982-1993 Morgan 4/4 1.6 L

Note that the 1.1 L version was only offered in Continental Europe, 1.1 L Escort Mk.3's for the United Kingdom used the 1117cc Kent engine.


The CVH-PTE is a revised version of the Ford CVH engine which was introduced on the European Ford Escort in 1995. It features a thicker crankcase to combat the harshness at high revs, although the 1990's saw it gradually being phased out in favour of the newer Zetec 16-valve unit.

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CATEGORIES (articles) > Engine, Gearbox > Ford Engines > Ford CVH Engine Overview

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